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Category: Social Issues

Fresh Air is a Fundamental Right

Fresh Air is a Fundamental Right

WARNING: RANT AHEAD~

When I step outside, the LAST thing I want to smell is the smoke coming out of somebody’s cigarette. Everywhere you look, buildings have signs asking patrons to kindly PLEASE refrain from smoking within a 15 ft radius of the front door… there is very sound and logical reasoning behind this! By refusing to adhere to these standards and smoking right next to the front door, you are essentially saying, “FUCK YOU” to anybody who doesn’t want to inhale second hand smoke. All of the healthy individuals who do not smoke, growing children who should NOT be around cigarette smoke, pregnant women in ALL stages of pregnancy, individuals with asthma, and so many more do NOT want OR need to inhale secondhand smoke! For those of you who smoke, I am not saying you shouldn’t have the right to smoke, not at all. If that is what you want to do, then please, go right ahead! However, forcing those of us who do not smoke to inhale those cancerous fumes because you are too lazy to walk just 15 feet further, is extremely disrespectful and RUDE!!

We live in a 10 floor apartment building with apartments on the first floor. By not complying with these simple rules, you are forcing all of the tenants on the first floor to be exposed to that smell as well. People walking in and out of the building have to breathe in those toxic fumes because you are too lazy to walk 15 feet! HOW IS THAT FAIR?!

You absolutely, 100%, have the right to smoke.

Everybody else absolutely, 100%, has the right to breathe fresh air.

Don’t be a dick about the rules… PLEASE refrain from smoking within 15 feet of any entrance to any building. Have some respect for yourself, for others and for the RULES.

According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard causing more than 41,000 deaths per year. It can cause or make worse a wide range of damaging health effects in children and adults, including lung cancer, respiratory infections and asthma.

Key Facts about Secondhand Smoke

  • Secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year.1
  • Between 1964 and 2014, 2.5 million people died from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to a report from the U.S. Surgeon General. The report also concluded that secondhand smoke is a definitive cause of stroke.1
  • There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke and even short-term exposure potentially can increase the risk of heart attacks.
  • Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.2
  • Secondhand smoke can cause heart attacks; even relatively brief exposure can trigger a heart attack, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine.

Secondhand Smoke in the Workplace

  • Secondhand smoke costs our economy $5.6 billion per year due to lost productivity.1
  • The health of nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work is at increased risk. Levels of secondhand smoke in restaurants and bars were found to be two- to five-times higher than in residences with smokers, and two- to six-times higher than in office workplaces.
  • Being employed in a workplace where smoking is prohibited is associated with a reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked per day and an increase in the success rate of smokers who are attempting to quit.
  • Casino workers in particular are exposed to hazardous levels of toxic secondhand smoke at work, including tobacco-specific carcinogens that increased in their bodies as their work shifts progressed, according to a report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Secondhand Smoke and Children

  • Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children. Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 18 months of age, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year. It also causes 430 sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths in the U.S. annually.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure may cause buildup of fluid in the middle ear, resulting in 790,000 doctor’s office visits per year, as well as more than 202,000 asthma flare-ups among children each year.7
  • More than 24 million, or about 37 percent of children in the U.S. have been exposed to secondhand smoke.

Learn about the American Lung Association’s programs to help you or a loved one quit smoking, and join our advocacy efforts to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Visit Lung.org or call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872).

 

  • Sources
    1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2014.
    2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2006.
    3. Institute of Medicine. Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 2009.
    4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Report on Carcinogens, Tenth Edition 2002. National Toxicology Program.
    5. National Cancer Institute. Population Based Smoking Cessation: Proceedings of a Conference on What Works to Influence Cessation in the General Population, Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 12. NIH Pub. 00-4892, Nov. 2000.
    6. National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. Environmental and Biological Assessment of Environmental Tobacco Smoke among Casino Dealers, May 2009.
    7. California Environmental Protection Agency. Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant. Executive Summary. June 2005.
    8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs: Disparities in Nonsmokers’ Exposure to Secondhand Smoke — United States, 1999-2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. February 6, 2015; 64(4):103-8.
Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY TO THINK ABOUT…….December 29, 2015 marks the 125th Anniversary of the murder of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the PineRidge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These 297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection”. The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms. The Calvary began shooting, and managed to wipe out the entire camp. 200 of the 297 victims were women and children. About 40 members of the 7th Cavalry were killed, but over half of them were victims of fratricide from the Hotchkiss guns of their overzealous comrades-in-arms.

TWENTY members of the 7th Cavalry’s death squad, were deemed “National Heroes” and were awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of [cowardice] heroism.

We hear very little of Wounded Knee today. It is usually not mentioned in our history classes or books. What little that does exist about Wounded Knee is normally a sanitized “Official Government Explanation”. And there are several historically inaccurate depictions of the events leading up to the massacre, which appear in movie scripts and are not the least bit representative of the actual events that took place that day.

Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation attempts in United States history. It ended in the senseless murder of 297 people.

Before you jump on the emotionally charged bandwagon for gun-control, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of the Second Amendment, the right of the people to take up arms in defense of themselves, their families, and property in the face of invading armies or an oppressive government. The argument that the Second Amendment only applies to hunting and target shooting is asinine. When the United States Constitution was drafted, “hunting” was an everyday chore carried out by men and women to put meat on the table each night, and “target shooting” was an unheard of concept. Musket balls were a precious commodity and were certainly not wasted on “target shooting”. The Second Amendment was written by people who fled oppressive and tyrannical regimes in Europe, and it refers to the right of American citizens to be armed for defensive purposes, should such tyranny arise in the United States.

As time goes forward, the average citizen in the United States continually loses little chunks of personal freedom or “liberty”. Far too many times, unjust gun control bills were passed and signed into law under the guise of “for your safety” or “for protection”. The Patriot Act signed into law by G.W. Bush, was expanded and continues under Barack Obama. It is just one of many examples of American citizens being stripped of their rights and privacy for “safety”. Now, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is on the table, and will, most likely be attacked to facilitate the path for the removal of our firearms, all in the name of “our safety”.

Before any American citizen blindly accepts whatever new firearms legislation that is about to be doled out, they should stop and think about something for just one minute-
Evil does exist in our world. It always has and always will. Throughout history evil people have committed evil acts. In the Bible one of the first stories is that of Cain killing Abel. We can not legislate “evil” into extinction. Good people will abide by the law, and the criminal element will always find a way around it.

Evil exists all around us, but looking back at the historical record of the past 200 years, across the globe, where is “evil” and “malevolence” most often found? In the hands of those with the power, the governments. That greatest human tragedies on record and the largest loss of innocent human life can be attributed to governments. Who do the governments always target? “Scapegoats” and “enemies” within their own borders…but only after they have been disarmed to the point where they are no longer a threat. Ask any Native American, and they will tell you it was inferior technology and lack of arms that contributed to their demise. Ask any Armenian why it was so easy for the Turks to exterminate millions of them, and they will answer “We were disarmed before it happened”. Ask any Jew what Hitler’s first step prior to the mass murders of the Holocaust was- confiscation of firearms from the people.

Wounded Knee is the prime example of why the Second Amendment exists, and why we should vehemently resist any attempts to infringe on our Rights to Bear Arms. Without the Second Amendment we will be totally stripped of any ability to defend ourselves and our families.

Johnny Depp to purchase Wounded Knee and gift it back to Native Americans

Social Penetration Theory Applied

Social Penetration Theory Applied

Social penetration theory asserts the concept of metaphorically, peeling back more and more layers of an individual’s emotional, psychological, and deeply personal psyche, through the journey and active pursuit of constructing a strong foundational base; therefore perpetually solidifying the orientation phase by progressing and assuming the opportunity and risk of beginning the exploratory affective stage. We, as individuals, begin to slowly merge our individual worlds into a combined effort of seeking out the deeper layers in our significant other by beginning to broach topics previously considered unacceptable to discuss.

 This theory is about the development of a relationship through a gradual exposure of one’s self, beginning with socially acceptable levels of self-disclosure and moving towards the most intimate level of full disclosure between two people.

Social penetration theory appealed to me because I have experienced some events in my life that have affected the way I socially connect to others. Long story short, I married at 26 and after a long heart-to-heart with myself, I chose to leave and filed for divorce.

The relationship I fell into after that resulted in a detrimental threat to my health and personal well-being. With both relationships, I had allowed my counterpart into the innermost level and freely offered full disclosure under the blind assumption that my dedication to the relationship was being reciprocated. Unfortunately, in both relationships, self disclosure was not reciprocated. The voluntary permission I had lovingly and willingly offered without question slowly became a weapon against me. Due to these relationships, specifically the one that ended with a traumatic life-altering event, I chose to construct and establish my layers of security and self-preservation. As a result, I emotionally shut down. I had shut everything off because it was the only way (from proven experience) that I could blindly convince myself that I could prevent being manipulated or abused again. Unfortunately, I had convinced myself that going to the complete opposite end of the spectrum was the healthy thing to do and in turn, resulted in complete alienation because I refused to allow myself to reciprocate emotions.

After approximately one year of focusing on me and learning who I was again, I felt like the healing process was finally beginning to show improvement. Thankfully, one day I realized that by allowing these situations to affect me so drastically, I was giving the negative memories power. Nobody was forcing me to feel this way but myself. That was the day I made the decision to start over. I went through all of the negative and hurtful memories taking up precious real estate in my head and I simply dumped it all out behind me and chose to dedicate my energies from then on to positive thoughts and actions. I became proactive in creating, maintaining, and improving who I am and who I have the potential to become.

I chose to reflect on past experiences and learn from the decisions that I was responsible for. I learned that by taking responsibility, not for the entirety of the negative experiences, but for my part and decisions that resulted in negativity, there is no regret. There are only life lessons learned and the best course of action to take next, I decided, was to focus on success and achieve it.

Later, I met someone whom I began to spend an increasing amount of time with. We initially began our acquaintance as running buddies and began to spend more time on outdoor activities to include mountain biking and hiking to the summit of Pike’s Peak. Our relationship had been strictly platonic for several weeks. I had been upfront, honest, and direct in my intention to stay single. My security walls were still holding strong and I feared allowing them to open at all.

After several weeks, I began to notice that his walls were beginning to come down and he had begun to develop emotions that were more than platonic friendship. This realization caused me to ask myself why was I hanging on to my security walls so tightly? I was not allowing even the exploration of the first level of reciprocity.

After confirming my suspicions of his feelings, I continued to ask myself questions and realized that I had no answers. If I can’t answer my own question for something, then I concluded that it must not be a valid fear or concern and I forced myself to adapt to the situation in a mutually beneficial manner.  After several talks and more time spent with each other, he won me over. My walls of security began to shed quickly.

We agreed from that point on to begin a relationship on the basis of full disclosure. I have learned that I have the power to change the way I feel or my place in a situation and, I choose to be AWESOME. :-)

Communication Theories Defined

Communication Theories Defined

Defining Communication Theories in a technical environment is simple enough, if one’s knowledge base has a solid foundation. Applying or acknowledging the utilization of each theory into one’s daily existence however, produces interestingly thought-provoking results due to the human variable… an entity of perpetual analysis and transformation.
 
Communication is essentially a process, the production and exchange of more than just information; as a term, it encompasses such a wide variety of definitions.
 
 
“Communication” can be labeled as an expression, dependent on exponential variables; intended as an umbrella description to encompass a myriad of diversity and interconnectivity levels, to further engage and involve encoding, sending, receiving, decoding, synthesizing information, interpreting meanings, translating signals, and so on, to the infinite power. 
 
The following, however, are the official and technical terms of the theories to encompass the concept of communication.
 
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Cognitive Dissonance Theory argues that the experience of dissonance (or incompatible beliefs and actions) is aversive and people are highly motivated to avoid it. In their efforts to avoid feelings of dissonance, people will avoid hearing views that oppose their own, change their beliefs to match their actions, and seek reassurance after making a difficult decision.
 
Communication Accommodation Theory
This theoretical perspective examines the underlying motivations and consequences of what happens when two speakers shift their communication styles. Communication Accommodation theorists argue that during communication, people will try to accommodate or adjust their style of speaking to others. This is done in two ways: divergence and convergence. Groups with strong ethnic or racial pride often use divergence to highlight group identity. Convergence occurs when there is a strong need for social approval, frequently from powerless individuals.
 
Coordinated Management of Meaning
Theorists in Coordinated Management of Meaning believe that in conversation, people co-create meaning by attaining some coherence and coordination. Coherence occurs when stories are told, and coordination exists when stories are lived. CMM focuses on the relationship between an individual and his or her society. Through a hierarchical structure, individuals come to organize the meaning of literally hundreds of messages received throughout a day.
 
Cultivation Analysis
This theory argues that television (and other media) plays an extremely important role in how people view their world. According to Cultivation Analysis, in modern Culture most people get much of their information in a mediated fashion rather than through direct experience. Thus, mediated sources can shape people’s sense of reality. This is especially the case with regard to violence, according to the theory. Cultivation Analysis posits that heavy television viewing cultivates a sense of the world that is more violent and scarier than is actually warranted.
 
Cultural Approach to Organizations 
The Cultural Approach contends that people are like animals who are suspended in webs that they created. Theorists in this tradition argue that an organization’s culture is composed of shared symbols, each of which has a unique meaning. Organizational stories, rituals, and rites of passage are examples of what constitutes the culture of an organization.
 
Cultural Studies
Theorists in cultural studies maintain that the media represents ideologies of the dominant class in a society. Because media are controlled by corporations, the information presented to the public is necessarily influenced and framed with profit in mind. Cultural Studies theorists, therefore, are concerned with media influenced and framed with profit in mind. Cultural Studies theorists, therefore, are concerned with media influence and how power plays a role in the interpretation of culture.
 
Dramatism
This theoretical position compares life to a drama. As in dramatic action, life requires an actor, a scene, an act, some means for the action to take place, and a purpose. A rhetorical critic can understand a speaker’s motives by analyzing these elements. Further, Dramatism argues that purging guilt is the ultimate motive, and rhetors can be successful when they provide their audiences with a means for purging their guilt and a sense of identification with the rhetor.
 
Expectancy Violations Theory
Expectancy Violation Theory examines how nonverbal messages are structured. The theory advances that when communicative norms are violated, the violation may be perceived either favorably or unfavorably, depending on the perception that the receiver has of the violator. Violating another’s expectations may be a strategy used over that of conforming to another’s expectations.
 
Face-Negotiation Theory
Face-Negotiation Theory is concerned with how people in individualistic and collectivistic cultures negotiate face in conflict situations. The theory is based on face management, which describes how people from different cultures manage conflict negotiation in order to maintain face. Self-face and other-face concerns explain the conflict negotiation between people from various cultures.
 
Groupthink
The groupthink phenomenon occurs when highly cohesive groups fail to consider alternatives that may effectively resolve group dilemmas. Groupthink theorists contend that group members frequently think similarly and are reluctant to share unpopular or dissimilar ideas with others. When this occurs, groups prematurely make decisions, some of which can have lasting consequences.
 
Muted Group Theory
Muted Group Theory maintains that language serves men better than women (and perhaps European Americans better than African Americans or other groups). This is the case because the variety of experiences of European American men are named clearly in language, whereas the experiences of other groups (such as women) are not. Due to this problem with language, women appear less articulate than men in public settings. As women have similar experiences, this situation should change.
 
The Narrative Paradigm
This theory argues that humans are storytelling animals. The Narrative Paradigm proposes a narrative logic to replace the traditional logic of argument. Narrative logic, or the logic of good reasons, suggests that people judge the credibility of speakers by whether their stories hang together clearly (coherence and whether their stories ring true (fidelity). The Narrative Paradigm allows for a democratic judgment of speakers because no one has to be trained in oratory and persuasion to make judgments based on coherence and fidelity.
 
Organizational Information Theory 
This Theory argues that the main activity of organizations is the process of making sense of equivocal information. Organizational members accomplish this sense-making process through enactment, selection, and retention of information. Organizations are successful to the extent that they are able to reduce equivocality through these means.
 
Relational Dialectics Theory
Relational Dialectics suggests that relational life is always in process. People in relationships continually feel the pull-push of conflicting desires. Basically, people wish to have both autonomy and connection, openness and protective-ness, and novelty and predictability. As people communicate in relationships, they attempt to reconcile these conflicting desires, but they never eliminate their needs for both of the opposing pairs.
 
The Rhetoric
Rhetorical theory is based on the available means of persuasion. That is, a speaker who is interested in persuading his or her audience should consider three rhetorical proofs: logical, emotional, and ethical. Audiences are key to effective persuasion as well. Rhetorical syllogism, requiring audiences to supply missing pieces of a speech, are also used in persuasion.
 
Social Exchange Theory
This theoretical position argues that the major force in interpersonal relationships is the satisfaction of both people’s self-interest. Theorists in Social Exchange posit that self-interest is not necessarily a bad thing and that it can actually enhance relationships. The Social Exchange approach views interpersonal exchange posit that self-interest is not necessarily a bad thing and that it can actually enhance relationships. The Social Exchange approach views interpersonal exchanges as analogous to economic exchanges where people are satisfied when they receive a fair return on their expenditures.
 
Social Penetration Theory
This theory maintains that interpersonal relationships evolve in some gradual and predictable fashion. Penetration theorists believe that self-disclosure is the primary way that superficial relationships progress to intimate relationships. Although self-disclosure can lead to more intimate relationships, it can also leave one or more persons vulnerable.
 
Spiral of Silence Theory
Theorists associated with Spiral of Silence Theory argue that due to their enormous power, the mass media have a lasting effect on public opinion. The theory maintains that mass media work simultaneously with Majority public opinion to silence minority beliefs on cultural issues. A fear of isolation prompts those with minority views to examine the beliefs of others. Individuals who fear being socially isolated are prone to conform to what they perceive to be a majority view.
 
Standpoint Theory
This theory posits that people are situated in specific social standpoints-they occupy different places in the social hierarchy. Because of this, individuals view the social situation from particular vantage points. By necessity, each vantage point provides only a partial understanding of the social whole. Yet, those who occupy the lower rungs of the hierarchy tend to understand the social whole. Yet, those who occupy the lower rungs of the hierarchy tend to understand the social situation more fully than those at the top. Sometimes, Standpoint Theory is referred to as Feminist Standpoint Theory because of its application to how women’s and men’s standpoint differ.
 
Structuration Theory
Theorists supporting the structurational perspective argue that groups and organizations create structures, which can be interpreted as an organization’s rules and resources. These structures, in turn, create social systems in an organization. Structuration theorists posit that groups and organizations achieve a life of their own because of the way their members utilize their structures. Power structures guide the decision making taking place in groups and organizations.
 
Symbolic Interaction Theory
This theory suggests that people are motivated to act based on the meanings they assign to people, things, and events. Further, meaning is created in the language that people use both with others and in private thought. Language allows people to develop a sense of self and to interact with others in community.
 
Uncertainly Reduction Theory
Uncertainty Reduction Theory suggests that when strangers meet, their primary focus is on reducing their levels of uncertainty in the situation. Their levels of uncertainty are located in both behavioral and cognitive realms. That is, they may be unsure of how to behave (or how the other person will behave), and they may also be unsure what they think of the other and what the other person thinks of them. Further, people’s uncertainty is both individual level and relational level. People are highly motivated to use communication to reduce their uncertainty according to this theory.
 
Uses and Gratifications Theory
Uses and Gratifications theorists explain why people choose and use certain media forms. The theory emphasizes a limited effect position; that is, the media have a limithe effect on their audiences because audiences are able to exercise control over their media. Uses and Gratifications Theory attempts to answer the following: What do people do with the media?
Heart Disease

Heart Disease

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Heart Disease is an umbrella category that encompasses several conditions affecting the heart. Conditions categorized under heart disease include coronary heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, congenital heart disease, arrhythmia, heart defects, and other life threatening conditions.                

Heart disease customarily refers to any and all conditions involving the blood vessels, running to and from the heart, being narrowed or blocked and stressed. These critical incidents almost always lead to chest pains, strokes, or even heart attacks. The great news is that all of these debilitating diseases can be prevented or even reversed with healthy lifestyle choices, nutritious decisions, willingness to demand your own best health, and behavior modification.

The number one killer in the United States is heart disease!! Heart Disease, besides causing further undue stress, is also a major cause of disability in adults who have suffered a heart attack or stroke. General rules to follow in order to prevent heart disease include exercise, healthy living, cholesterol management, and blood pressure management. However, if you have been diagnosed, there is still hope!! 

According to a published article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) program decreases the risk of recurrent heart attacks and other cardiovascular incidents in patients with heart disease. Individuals with heart disease generally suffer from one of two categories: Chronic Stressors such as low socioeconomic status, little to no social support, distress at home or in a relationship, distress at work, etc.; and emotional elements to include depression of all stages, hostility towards others, anger targeted at the world, or anxiety just to name a few.

 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help deal with Heart Disease and at times, reverse the disease. By learning techniques that assist in coping with stress, individuals already diagnosed with heart disease can successfully prevent future instances of heart attacks or strokes. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will help you manage your health in a more positive way simply by changing the way you think and behave. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy deals with current issues in your life and focuses on practical ways to improve your state of mind. Experts help you make sense of overwhelming dilemmas in your life by breaking things down for you and helping you understand how to positively cope. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy takes into account your thoughts, emotions, actions, self, etc., and aims to transform all negative cycles of emotion and self worth, into positivity. You can and will feel good about YOU!

Encourage yourself to take an active role in your health and wellness. Proactively set goals for yourself and aim for improved health. Don’t let a diagnosis deter you from living the life you deserve to live.

 Wouldn’t it be WONDERFUL to be able to say, “I was diagnosed with heart disease at one point… I overcame it, changed the way I think, behave, and act and now, I live without it.” Change your behavior to change your life… Think Smart!!

Dell Latitude E6400 Hackint0sh

Dell Latitude E6400 Hackint0sh

Zahira Schmidt
Zahira Schmidt

Dell Latitude E6400 Hackint0sh

Zahira SchmidtZahira Schmidt

As with the Dell D630, and the Toshiba Satellite, I kinda went a little hax0r crazy. I now have converted a Dell Latitude E6400 into my new Hackint0sh J

I am including all of the BIOS modifications in order to help make the install much easier for anyone reading.   

Boot with iDeneb v1.3 10.5.5

Restart your computer and hold down the F2 key to enter BIOS settings.

Change your BIOS settings to comply with Apple standards.

SYSTEM CONFIGURATION:

  • INTEGRATED NIC: DISABLED
  • PARALLEL PORT: DISABLED
  • SERIAL PORT: DISABLED
  • SATA OPERATION: AHCI
  • MISCELLANEOUS DEVICES:
    • ENABLE INTERNAL MODEM
    • ENABLE MODULE BAY
    • ENABLE MEDIA CARD, PC CARD, AND 1394
    • ENABLE EXTERNAL USB PORT
    • ENABLE MICROPHONE
    • ENABLE eSATA
  • DISABLE ADAPTOR WARNINGS UNLESS YOU REALLY ENJOY THAT ANNOYING BEEP DURING START-UP

 Make sure all of your settings are working appropriately

Restart your computer holding the F12 key and boot from CD.

When prompted, hit the F8 key to enter startup options and type in any flags that you would like to see… I like to have verbose mode [-v] on so I can see what’s going on… especially if I have to go back and remedy a setting.

The length of time the next step takes generally depends on your system configuration and how much RAM you have. The more RAM the better  

Install Welcome Screen (This is where things get just a bit tricky)

Zahira Schmidt

 FORMAT YOUR HARD DRIVE

Zahira Schmidt

  • Click on Utilities at the top of the screen in the menu bar
  • Go to Disk Utilities
  • Choose the main hard drive
  • Click the Erase tab
  • Click on the volume format drop down menu and choose OS Extended Journaled
  • Name the partition whatever you like – be creative with it and have some fun… why else would we be putting Mac OS on a PC? =P
  • DON’T FORGET to click on the options button and chose GUID Partition then go for it

Once partitioned, exit out by clicking the red X button and it should take you back to installation screen

Choose “Continue” and you will be shown the Agreement page, click Agree.

You will be shown the available options for drives to install on, you should see the one you just partitioned.

Zahira Schmidt

  • If you don’t see one, it’s ok, you can go back to the Disk Utility and reconfigure 

After you click continue and go to the Summary page WAIT!!!You MUST CUSTOMIZE!!

  • If you don’t, the install will not function properly

 Click on the Customize button and make the choices you require based on your specific hardware.

If the first install doesn’t work, you probably need to go back and modify the customization options;

OR

If you have different hardware, you might need to take another look at your BIOS settings.


Click Done and then Install

Zahira Schmidt

Voila!! The installer will primarily check your disk, you can skip the process but I recommend you let it do its thing. Once inspected, the disk won’t need to be inspected again for additional installs.

Once you see a screen with a green checkmark, you did it!!

Zahira Schmidt

 

OS X has been installed on your computer.

You’ll see a fancy video saying welcome in several languages and then be prompted to set up the basics.

Zahira Schmidt

Follow all the prompts

Zahira Schmidt

Add your info if you prefer

CONGRATS! You are now running OS X on your PC!!

ENJOY YOUR HACKINTOSH  

 

 

Toshiba Satellite A135 S7404 Hackint0sh

Toshiba Satellite A135 S7404 Hackint0sh

Zahira Schmidt
Zahira Schmidt

Toshiba Satellite A135 S7404 Hackint0sh

 

As with the Dell D630, I decided to play around with a Toshiba that was laying around. The Toshiba Satellite runs PheonixBIOS V1.60 and required different settings so this time, I am including the BIOS adjustments to help make the install much easier for anyone reading.   

Boot with Kalyway_10.5.2_DVD_Intel_Amd

Restart your computer and hold down the F2 key to enter BIOS settings.

Change your BIOS settings to comply with Apple standards.
 
QUIET BOOT: ENABLED
 
LEGACY USB SUPPORT: ENABLED
EXECUTE-DISABLE BIT CAPABILITY: DISABLED
DYNAMIC CPU FREQUENCY MODE: DYNAMIC
BUILT-IN LAN: ENABLED
WAKE-UP ON LAN: DISABLED
WAKE-UP ON KEYBOARD DEVICE: DISABLED
CRITICAL BATTERY WAKE-UP: ENABLED
 
LOW BATTERY ALARM: ENABLED
PANEL CLOSE ALARM: DISABLED
SYSTEM BEEP: DISABLED
 
BOOT SEQUENCE:BUILT-IN HDD
CD/DVD
FDD
LAN
 
Restart your computer holding the F12 key and boot from CD.

When prompted, hit the F8 key to enter startup options and type in –v noapic cpus=2 and hit enter.

The length of time generally depends on your system configuration and how much RAM you have. The more RAM the better 😀
 
Install Welcome Screen (This is where things get just a bit tricky)

The break-dancer image was added by Kalyway and if you click on more options, you can learn more.
 
FORMAT YOUR HARD DRIVE

  • Click on Utilities at the top of the screen in the menu bar
  • Go to Disk Utilities
  • Choose the main hard drivE
  • Click the Erase tab
  • Click on the volume format drop down menu and choose OS Extended Journaled
  • Name the partition whatever you like, I called mine haxint0sh just for the hell of it
  • DON’T FORGET to click on the options button and chose GUID Partition then go for it

 
Once partitioned, exit out by clicking the red X button and it should take you back to installation screen

Choose “Continue” and you will be shown the Agreement page

  • Agree

You will be shown the available options for drives to install on, you should see the one you just partitioned.

 

  • If you don’t see one, it’s ok, you can go back to the Disk Utility and reconfigure

After you click continue and go to the Summary page WAIT!!!You MUST CUSTOMIZE!!

If you don’t the install will not properly function

Click on the Customize button and make the choices you require based on your specific hardware.

If the first install doesn’t work, you probably need to go back and modify the customization options
 
Click Done and then Install
 
Voila!! The installer will primarily check your disk, you can skip the process but I recommend you let it do its thing. Once inspected, the disk won’t need to be inspected again for additional installs.
 
Once you see a screen with a green checkmark, you did it!! OS X has been installed on your computer.

You’ll see a fancy video saying welcome in several languages and then be prompted to set up the basics.

Follow all the prompts

Add your info if you prefer

CONGRATS! You are now running OS X on your PC!!

 
ENJOY YOUR HACKINTOSH 🙂
 

Zahira Schmidt Zahira Schmidt

Dell Latitude D630 Hackint0sh 10.5.2

Dell Latitude D630 Hackint0sh 10.5.2

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Dell Latitude D630 Hackint0sh 10.5.2

 

For all the techs in training out there, when I heard that I can run OS X on a PC I said, “Challenge accepted!” 🙂

 

The first Hackint0sh I was able to successfully function as a Hackintosh was a Dell Latitude D630 using the Kalyway 10.5.2 DVD.

 

Dell Latitude D630

  • Original OS: Windows XP
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 / 1.8 GHz
  • Chipset: PM965
    • ICH8-ME
  • Memory: 1.0 GB
  • Video: G 86M
    • Quadro NVS13SM
    • NVIDIA
  • Ethernet: BCMS7SSM
    • Gigabit Ethernet PCI
  • Wireless: BCM4312
    • 802.11g
  • BIOS Revision A17
  • SATA: AHCI

 

Boot with Kalyway_10.5.2_DVD_Intel_Amd

  • Restart your computer and hold down the F2 key to enter BIOS settings.
  • Change your BIOS settings to comply with Apple standards.
  • Restart your computer holding the F12 key and boot from CD.
  • When prompted, hit the F8 key to enter startup options and type in –v noapic cpus=2 and hit enter.
  • The length of time generally depends on your system configuration and how much RAM you have. The more RAM the better 😀

 

These should help:

Apple Load Screen

 

Choose your Language (I chose English for the install)

 

Load Screen

 

Install Welcome Screen (This is where things get just a bit tricky)

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  • The break-dancer image was added by Kalyway and if you click on more options, you can learn more.
  • FORMAT YOUR HARD DRIVE
    • Click on Utilities at the top of the screen in the menu bar
    • Go to Disk Utilities
    • Choose the main hard drive
    • Click the Erase tab

    78A2F556-F9E6-4203-8012-32D0E10F7E5B

    • Click on the volume format drop down menu and choose OS Extended Journaled
    • Name the partition whatever you like, I called mine haxint0sh just for the hell of it

    5F15AA76-0119-496B-924B-588ED61AE705

    • DON’T FORGET to click on the options button and chose GUID Partition then go for it

    4D0AA4EC-04C6-4592-B739-D94FF8EA35B4

  • Once partitioned, exit out by clicking the red X button and it should take you back to installation screen
  • Choose “Continue” and you will be shown the Agreement page
    • Agree
  • You will be shown the available options for drives to install on, you should see the one you just partitioned.

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  • If you don’t see one, it’s ok, you can go back to the Disk Utility and reconfigure
  • After you click continue and go to the Summary page WAIT!!!
    • You MUST CUSTOMIZE!! If you don’t the install will not properly function
    • Click on the Customize button and make the choices you require based on your specific hardware.
      • If the first install doesn’t work, you probably need to go back and modify the customization options
  • 23756D40-D4A9-4871-822A-6CAB58DFFCF3

    • Click Done and then Install

    5BF2F94A-1CD7-4251-BB03-986291AC6ED2

    • Voila!! The installer will primarily check your disk, you can skip the process but I recommend you let it do its thing. Once inspected, the disk won’t need to be inspected again for additional installs.

    02139935-4598-4988-A840-E09F49F01807

    • Once you see a screen with a green checkmark, you did it!! OS X has been installed on your computer.
    • You’ll see a fancy video saying welcome in several languages

    18E72082-5C29-41DF-B21F-B4D565911286 741849E1-2067-47E4-8CFB-07B594E385E4 52FE1E80-F906-4FF9-9B48-2B98A979D290 34BA6002-ABDC-4395-BA18-56F25412E17A

    and then be prompted to set up the basics.

    469EE861-3B3A-4D10-8ADC-0B71668CA7DA

    • Follow all the prompts
    • Add your info if you prefer
    • CONGRATS! You are now running OS X on your PC!!

     

    ENJOY YOUR HACKINTOSH 🙂

    Global Economics in History

    Global Economics in History

    global-economy1

    Globalization encompasses the changes regarding international trade and economy; falling trade barriers, unrestricted capital flows fueled by technological innovation, and a new mobile global work force would all combine. The global economy transforms by online financial markets, transnational mergers and currency speculation that dwarfs trade in goods and services. It is crucial that countries guarantee they are fostering a culture that encourages alertness, responsiveness, flexibility, and speeding up the cycle time of processes and decisions. For in order to reap the benefits of globalization, countries must make the necessary investments in education, health, and social safety nets. Technology spurs expansion, which is seen in such results as access to the internet, innovative information flow, knowledge of cultures, and new markets. The “New Rules of the Game” segment of Commanding Heights focuses on the interrelationship of trade policy, international capital flows and exchange rates; also, their subsequent influence in the spread of globalization in the 1990s, the Mexican Debt Crisis, and the Asian Economic Crisis.

    NAFTA is an international organization acronym for the North American Free Trade Agreement. The belief of the organization is that open markets create wealth, bind nations together, and help construct a more prosperous and more secure world. The initial concept created a whirlwind of controversy in the white house and came to be the first great debate of the globalization era. When put to a vote, it passed by Republican vote alone; they were behind the concept and President Clinton one hundred percent; Democrats were at sixty percent against the plan. Immediately after NAFTA became law, thousands of foreign companies built factories in Northern Mexico, exporting goods to the American market just a few miles away. The cost/benefit ration of the new law was dependent on the country and varied along a wide spectrum. The United States saw a slight increase in exports, 90-160,000 additional jobs, but lost 140,000 textile jobs to Mexico. Canada saw a loss of 50,000 jobs; the country imports heavily from the United States and unfortunately, they also witnessed their currency being devalued. Mexico gained 600,000 new textile jobs, offset by other losses, and saw an increase in imports from the United States. Other countries that suffered mainly saw the unrest among the organized labor unions. The other countries that won the beneficial ticket observed increased satisfaction among consumers and multinational corporations. Washington’s free-trade agenda passed seamlessly from the Clinton to the Bush administration. NAFTA contributed to the strength of the United States’ economy because of a substantial increase in exports and in turn, more exports helped in the fight to reduce inflation.

    Technology spurs expansion and in the expansion of global financial markets, along with the introduction of the internet, innovative information flow, and a newfound knowledge of cultures and new markets, pension funds became the powerhouses of the global economy because they had the money. With the mentality that everything is global and interconnected, the end of the cold war observed many nations opening their markets to foreign investment for the first time. Online financial markets, transactional mergers, and currency speculation that dwarfs trade in goods and services transformed the global economy. The arrival of a global marketplace sparked intense competition and perpetual burdens on costs. In order to reap the benefits of globalization, countries would need to make the necessary adjustments in education, health, and social safety nets. As investment flowed around the world, the Clinton administration expanded the trade agenda it adopted with NAFTA. The United States encouraged developing nations to continue opening their economies to the global market. Many of the developing countries had been colonies of the west and saw the quick-moving flows of capital as a threat. The complexity of global markets creates possibility for unforeseen disasters, increases the risk of “external shocks”, and the interconnectedness of a global economy translated to the possibility of problems originating and spreading across the system. During the 1990s, the number of countries that adopted free market economies was inconceivable; it was being called “the triumph of capitalism. The general movement away from traditional state control of the commanding heights marched on, allowing more and more control to be handed over to the realm of the market. Thus commenced the primary, truly global, economy that was integrated and interconnected; work and production were networked around the world and the accompanying knowledge of commerce, etc. had taken digital electronic form. The transition away from central control has had its pros and cons; productivity levels increased substantially and wealth had begun an upward slope; the voyage however was dismal at best and societally wrenching for peoples of several nations. Technology has fundamentally altered the manner in which economies conduct themselves in order to integrate and interrelate.

    The Mexico Debt Crisis can best be described as an epic meltdown. The day NAFTA went into effect, Zapatista rebels launched an uprising in southern Mexico resulting in the assassination of the leading presidential candidate. Increased concern with stability, foreign investment fled the scene hastily. The global economy was about to face a new standard of crisis. After considerable deliberation, it became apparent that without a substantial commitment from the United States, Mexico would go into default on all of its debt, be forced to impose comprehensive exchange controls, and quite frankly shut down its economy. Against the majority counsel, President Clinton chose to see the big picture. He learned that the effect a failure of these proportions in Mexico would undoubtedly impact the United States economy negatively. Choosing to bail Mexico out of it’s dire economic situation would help the American economy more than it would injure it. Although an exceedingly controversial resolution, American taxpayers after all was said and done profited by $500 million.

    By early 1997, Southeast Asia’s rapid economic boom was beginning to overheat. During the 1990s, Thailand had opened up its capital markets. For the first time, local businesses could borrow money from foreign banks that offered lower interest rates. In only four short years, Thai businesses had exceeded over $200 billion in loans. American and European governments however were encouraging the inflow of capital. Asia experienced an enormous influx of capital, institutional weakness, underdeveloped markets, inadequate securities laws, and “pegging” as monetary policy. Thailand’s central Bank had kept its currency artificially high. Concern began to rise and the International Monetary Fund began to fear a fall in Thailand’s economy. The baht, Thailand’s currency, was pegged to the dollar but with the weakening economy, there was a sense of this not lasting. In July of 1997, Thai government had no choice but to devalue currency signifying the disastrous creation of the Asian financial crisis. Cost of living began to rise; costs in general began to rise for necessities such as water, electricity, and even soap; however, salaries were stagnating. The Thai economy was in dire straits and experiencing a virtual free fall that essentially led to an attempted rescue loan from the IMF. The unfortunate persistence of their economic crash progressed to an additional request of monetary aid from the United States. The notion of an economy as miniscule as Thailand’s containing the capacity to cause a global crisis was, until that moment in history, unfounded and ridiculous. Increased global concern led to the immediate analysis of possible repercussions deliberating the probability of other countries having comparable secret failings. The onset of the “Contagion” was initiated and like a disease, it spread with the fastidiousness of an elaborate scheme, infecting strategic locations within the economic globe. As it spread to Thailand’s neighbors, Malaysia had seemed healthy until infection ensued, resulting in economic failure. Following closely was Indonesia, the most populous of the region, suddenly infested triggering a collapse in government and chaotic reactions. The IMF was astonished; this was an unprecedented encounter prompting innovative action. Substantial loans were immediately organized for Indonesia and other Asian nations under the strict conditions to cut government spending, raise interest rates, and eliminate corruption. “Contagion” was disparagingly ambitious and thwarted all efforts at containment, seizing Korea’s extremely successful economy as the subsequent victim. Discovering Korea’s misdirection as a result of the cataclysmic attack commanded a further understanding. The country had been misleading the world, claiming it possessed adequate capital to resist the impending disaster when in reality, it was on the brink of defaulting on all Japanese and Western loans. Korea received the most prevalent bailout in history, resulting in the contagion moving to Russia. The economic plague appeared to have mutated into an intelligent thing, capable of making choices that ultimately resulted in tragedy and America was next on the chopping block. This thing, a phenomenon of globalization, had its sights set on Wall Street; failure on Wall Street threatened the entire global economy; correspondingly, the fate of the global economy rested in the hands of private bankers. Wall Street had encouragingly deflected the plague but Contagion wasn’t done yet. Brazil seemed to be the final destination, the world’s eighth largest economy. A loan package was proactively put into effect early and Brazil’s government immediately cut spending and enacted reforms. SUCCESS!! Brazil’s distresses were contained and thankfully the Contagion had fizzled out. Global financial markets gradually returned to normal.

    The world economy had survived the first crisis of the globalization era, but millions of ordinary people had paid the price. Afterthought allowed theorists to determine that the Asian Crisis was not the seizure of a normal business cycle but the consequence of an external shock—the excessive influx of foreign capital pursuing higher yields in emerging markets. The bailout in Mexico was successful and Mexico paid back the loan early. The intervention concerned minds as it set a dangerous precedent: protecting big investors from risks they had willingly taken. The rapid pace of globalization in all dimensions requires new rules. Existing systems must function in harmony with the marketplace. Globalization challenges governments to cooperate with one another in order to develop the new rules of the game, specifically the requirements for a manageable and successful global marketplace.

    Income and Expenses

    Income and Expenses

    Protecting a good investment and making money concept

    What is income?

    Income is the money that you make.

    There are several sources of income. The most common form of income is the paycheck you receive from your employer, usually either a weekly or biweekly basis.

    However, there are other forms of income besides a paycheck. Some other common forms of income include:

    • Child Support

    • Alimony

    • Unemployment Benefits

    • Interest Income

    • Dividend Income

    • Rental Income

    • Social Security Disability Income

    • Self-Employment Income

    • Bonus from employer

    In order to successfully create a budget, you should be aware of how much money you make on a monthly basis. Your monthly income is the amount of money you make or expect to make on a monthly basis.

    The two forms of monthly income are gross monthly income and net monthly income.


    Gross monthly income is the amount of income you make on a monthly basis before paying federal income taxes, social security taxes, Medicare taxes, state income taxes, and county taxes.

    Hypothetical example: Jon works for ABC Company and makes a salary of $24,000.00 per year. Therefore, Jon’s monthly gross income is $2,000.00. This figure is obtained by dividing $24,000.00 by twelve (12).

    Hypothetical example: Stacy works for XYZ Company and makes a salary of $36,000.00 per year. Therefore, Stacy’s monthly gross income would be $3,000.00. This figure is obtained by dividing $36,000.00 by twelve (12)

    When you make a budget, you may not want to rely on your gross income because you do not get to keep all of that money… you have to pay federal income taxes, social security taxes, Medicare taxes, state income taxes, and county taxes. Therefore, it may be better rely on your net income.

    In addition to federal income taxes, social security taxes, Medicare taxes, state income taxes, and county taxes, the following is a list of common mandatory deductions many people have abstracted from their pay checks:

    • Child support

    • Alimony

    • Wage garnishment

    Once all of the taxes and other deductions are subtracted from your paycheck, you are left with a dollar amount that your paycheck is actually for, this is your net income.

     

    What is net monthly income?

    Net monthly income is the money that is left over after your federal income taxes, social security taxes, Medicare taxes, state income taxes, county taxes and any other deductions are subtracted from your gross monthly income.

    For individuals receiving checks from an employer on a weekly or biweekly basis, your net income would be the amount of money that your check is actually for.

    Hypothetical example: Sam makes a salary of $24,000.00 per year. Sam’s only source of income is his paycheck. Therefore, his gross monthly income is $2,000.00 per month. Sam receives a paycheck twice a month. Therefore, Sam grosses $1,000.00 each paycheck. However, as you are aware, Sam does not get to keep the entire $1,000.00. Instead, he has the following amounts of money taken out of each one of his checks:

    Federal income tax: $133.28
    Social Security tax: $62.00
    State Income tax: $68.00
    County Income tax: $18.00
    Total taxes deducted from each paycheck: $281.28

    What would Sam’s biweekly net income be?

    You calculate Sam’s biweekly net income by subtracting his gross biweekly income of $1,000.00 from the $281.28 in taxes that are deducted from each one of his pay checks.

    Gross biweekly income: $1,000.00
    (taxes taken out of biweekly check): -$281.28
    Biweekly net income: $718.72

    Since the actual amount Sam receives from his paycheck every two (2) weeks is $718.72, his monthly net income would be $1,437.44.

    Hypothetical example: Sue makes a salary of $36,000.00 per year. Sue’s only source of income is her paycheck. Therefore, her gross monthly income is $3,000.00 per month. Sue receives a paycheck four (4) times a month. Therefore, Sue grosses $750.00 per paycheck. As you know, Sue does not get to keep the entire $750.00. Rather, she has the following amounts of money taken out of each of her checks for taxes:

    Federal income tax: $104.14
    Social security tax: $46.50
    State income tax: $25.50
    County income tax: $22.00
    Total taxes deducted from each paycheck: $195.14

    In addition to having taxes deducted from each of her paychecks, Sue’s employer also garnishes $25.00 from each one of her paychecks because of a judgment entered against her for an outstanding credit card bill she failed to pay.

    How would you calculate Sue’s weekly net income?

    You would calculate Sue’s weekly net income by subtracting the $195.14 she pays in taxes each week and the $25.00 she makes in garnishment payments each week from her gross weekly check of $750.00.

    Gross weekly income: $750.00
    (taxes taken out of weekly check): -$191.14
    (garnishment payment each week): – $25.00
    Weekly net income: $533.56

    Since Sue receives a weekly check in the amount of $533.56, her monthly net income is $2,134.24.

    If you create a monthly budget, you should probably base it on your net monthly income since it is the amount of money you actually bring home each month.

    Knowing what your net monthly income is the first step in being able to create a monthly budget.

     

    What are expenses?

    Expenses are outflows of money to another person or group to pay for an item or service.

    Think of it this way. An expense is money that is going out the door.

    There are several types of expenses that you can expect to incur on a monthly basis.

     

    The following are examples of types of monthly expenses that you may incur:

    • Mortgage payment if you own a house

    • Rental payment if you rent an apartment or house

    • Food

    • Gas for your vehicle(s)

    • Utility bill

    • Cable bill

    • Land line phone bill

    • Cellular phone bill

    • Car insurance

    • Home insurance

    • Health insurance

    • Dental insurance

    • Student loans

    • Credit card(s) bill(s)

    • Internet bill

    • Water bill

    • Entertainment

    • Child support

    • Alimony

    • Car loan

    • Lease payment for a vehicle

     

    In order to successfully create and manage a budget, you should have a good understanding of what you expect your monthly expenses to be. You also need to try to make sure that your net monthly income is enough to pay for your expected monthly expenses.

    Your monthly expenses can be broken down into three (3) categories which include: 1.) fixed monthly expenses, 2.) variable monthly expenses and, 3.) periodic monthly expenses.

    -> What are fixed monthly expenses?

    Fixed monthly expenses are expenses that you incur every month which are for the same dollar amount, month after month.

    the following is a list of some of the fixed monthly expenses that you most likely have:

    • Mortgage payment if you own a house

    • Rental payment if you rent an apartment or house

    • Car payment if you have a loan for the purchase of your vehicle(s)

    • Lease payment on a vehicle(s)

    • Credit card(s) payment

    • Cable television bill

    • Land line phone bill

    • Cellular telephone bill

    • Student loan payment

    • Car insurance

    • Home insurance

    • Health insurance

    • Babysitter bill

    • Internet bill

    • Gym membership

    If you are like most people, you have several fixed monthly expenses.

    Fixed monthly expenses will probably be the easiest type of expenses to budget for because you know you have them every month and you know the exact dollar amount of each fixed monthly expense.

     

    What are variable monthly expenses?

    Variable monthly expenses are monthly expenses that you incur every month that vary in dollar amount.

    To put it another way, variable monthly expenses are expenses that you know you have every month. However, you do not know the exact dollar amount of what the expenses will be

    The following is a list of some variable monthly expenses that you probably have:

    • Utility bill

    • Water bill

    • Grocery Bill

    • Gas for vehicle(s)

    • Entertainment

     

    Some of your variable expenses will fluctuate more than others. For example, when gas prices are $4.00 per gallon, you are presumably going to spend a lot more money, per month, on gas than if gas were $1.65 per gallon. In addition, your utility bill is probably going to be much higher in the winter months, as opposed to the spring, summer and fall months of the year. On the other hand, your water bill and grocery bill, even though they will vary in amount each month, will be more predictable and will not fluctuate as much.

    You probably do not have as many variable monthly expenses as you do fixed monthly expenses. 

    Examples of ways to cut back on your variable monthly expenses include:

    • Turning down the heat in your residence during the winter months

    • Minimizing use of the air conditioner in your residence

    • Turning off lights in your residence if you are not using them

    • Taking shorter showers

    • Spending less at the grocery store by buying generic items

    • Using coupons at the grocery store

    • Walking or riding a bike on your short trips instead of taking your vehicle

    • Car-pooling

    • Dining out less often during the month

    • Ordering less expensive items when eating out in restaurants

    • When dining out, ordering ice water instead of more costly beverages

     

     

    As you can imagine, you should be able to cut back on some of your monthly variable expenses with a little discipline. Give it a try and good luck!

     

    What are periodic monthly expenses?

    Periodic monthly expenses are monthly expenses that you incur on a non-regular basis.

    In order to successfully create and manage a budget, you should try to anticipate and identify what your periodic monthly expenses may be. In addition, you need to try to plan and save in advance for upcoming periodic monthly expenses

     

    The following are examples of periodic expenses that you may incur during the course of a year:

    • Car repairs

    • Paying $200.00 every spring for your son to play in a basketball league

    • Gifts for family members and friends.

    • Paying $100.00 every May for your daughter to play on a summer softball team.

    • Back to school expenses for your children

    • Paying $75.00 every January, for your annual dues, in order to keep your Elks Lodge membership active.

    • Medical expenses

    • Vacation(s)

    • Unexpected house maintenance expenses 

     

    Out of the list provided earlier, the following would be classified as unexpected periodic expenses:

    • Car repairs

    • Medical expenses

    • Unexpected house maintenance expenses

    Out of the list provided earlier, the following would be classified as expected periodic expenses:

    • Paying $200.00 every spring for your son to play in a basketball league

    • Gifts for family members and friends

    • Paying $100.00 every May for your daughter to play on a summer softball team

    • Back to school expenses for your children

    • Paying $75.00 every January, for your annual dues, in order to keep your Elks Lodge membership active

    • Vacation(s)

     

    Many of your periodic monthly expenses are going to be quite expensive. You need to be prepared financially for both your expected and unexpected periodic monthly expenses.

    One way to budget for your unexpected periodic monthly expenses is to calculate the total amount of them from the past twelve (12) months. Realistically, you probably will not be able to remember every single one of your unexpected periodic expenses from last year, but do the best you can. Hopefully, you will remember the more expensive unexpected periodic expenses you had during the past twelve (12) months.

    Once you calculate the total of your unexpected periodic expenses for the past twelve (12) months, divide that total by twelve (12). That number will be the amount of money you should budget each month for your unexpected periodic expenses going forward.

     

    Once you calculate the total of all of your monthly expenses, your net monthly income should be at least as much as your total monthly expenses.

    If your net monthly income is not as much as your total monthly expenses, you need to find a way to reduce your monthly expenses. Alternatively, you need to find a way to increase your net monthly income. It is probably easier trying to find ways to reduce your monthly expenses, than finding ways to increase your net monthly income.

     

    Once you have created a written budget, you should keep track of how you are actually doing compared with your written budget. It will be tempting to create a written budget and then not keep your spending in line with the budget. Do not fall into this trap! If you are disciplined and keep your spending in line with your budget, your financial well-being should be much better off. Good luck and get started!

    Investment Options in Today’s Financial Market

    Investment Options in Today’s Financial Market

    investment-growth

    Each year you should make it a goal to save at least ten (10%) percent of your net income for retirement. One of the best ways to ensure that you save ten (10%) percent of your net income is to open up a retirement account and have ten (10%) percent of each one of your paychecks automatically deposited into it. This idea is what is often referred to as “paying yourself first.” In order to make this happen, you will have to learn to live on less.

    There are many different ways individuals can invest their hard earned money for retirement. The following is a list of some of the most common types of investments where individuals place their money when saving for retirement.

    • 401 K
    • Roth Individual Retirement Account
    • Certificates of Deposit
    • Mutual Funds
    • Individual Stocks
    • Bonds

    The following is a brief overview of each one of the aforementioned types of investments

    401 (k):

    A 401 (k) plan is an employer sponsored plan to assist individuals in saving for retirement. If you enroll in a 40l (k) plan with your employer, you must choose a percentage of your income to contribute to the plan. Each paycheck, money will be automatically deducted and deposited into your 410 (k) account. All contributions you make to the plan will be done so on a pre-tax basis.

    If you invest in a 401 (k) plan, it will contain several different types of mutual funds to invest your contributions in. The mutual funds within your 401 (k) plan will invest in stocks, bonds and money market investments. You must allocate your resources as you see fit. 

    The money you invest in your 401 (k) plan for a given year will not be taxed at the federal level for that specific year.

    For example, lets assume you earn $40,000.00 per year. Over the course of the year you contributed $4,000.00 into your 401 (k) plan. Assuming you are in the 25 percent tax bracket, you would have saved $1,000.00 in taxes ($4,000.00 multiplied by 25 percent) since you do not have to pay federal taxes on the $4,000.00 you contributed to your 401(k).

    In any event, you will still be responsible for paying taxes on your 401 (k) contributions and any gains, as you withdraw the money during retirement. This money will be taxed as ordinary income. 

     

    Many employers that have 401 (k) plans will match, up to a certain percentage of the money, dollar for dollar, that their employees contribute into their 401 (k) accounts. Employers do this to entice their employees to save more for retirement. You should make every attempt possible to contribute at least the percentage of your income that your employer is willing to match.

    Let’s assume your employer matches your contributions, dollar for dollar, up to five (5%) percent of your contributions. Given the foregoing, you should contribute at least five (5%) percent of your income into your 401 (k) plan. By not doing this you are giving away free money.

     

    There are limitations with regards to how much money you can contribute to your 401 (k) each year. As of 2011, employees 49 and younger can contribute up to $16,500.00 into their 401 (k) accounts. For employees 50 and older, the contribution limit is $22,000.00.

    If an employee leaves the job where he or she had a 401 (k) account, the employee can keep the account with the ex-employer, but may have to pay a fee to do so. Alternatively, the employee that left a job where he or she had a 401 (k) account, can roll the account over into his or her new employer’s 401 (k) plan. Another option for an employee who left a job where he or she had a 401 (k) account is to roll over the account into an Individual Retirement Account.

     

    Typically, you have to wait until you are 59 ½ years old before you can begin withdrawing money in your 401 (k), without incurring a penalty. In most circumstances, if you withdraw money from your 401 (k) account before you are 59 ½, you will incur a penalty. Once you turn 70 ½ years old, you are required to begin withdrawing money from your 401 (k) account. The Internal Revenue Service has requirements with regard to how much money you have to withdraw each year, once you turn 70 ½ years old.

     

    Roth Individual Retirement Account (Roth IRA):

    All contributions made into a Roth IRA are made with after tax dollars. Since contributions into a Roth IRA are after tax dollars, you typically will not be taxed on any earnings. This is one of the best advantages of a Roth IRA. In addition, you will typically not be taxed on the money you contributed to your Roth IRA once you begin to withdraw it.

    As of 2011, if you meet certain income requirements and are 49 or younger, you can contribute up to $5,000.00 each year into a Roth IRA. If you are at least 50, you can contribute up to $6,000.00 per year.

     

    If you open a Roth IRA and keep it open for at least five (5) years, you are allowed to withdraw your contributions without penalty. You have to wait until you are at least 59 ½ before you can withdraw the earnings portion of your Roth IRA, without incurring a penalty or paying taxes on any earnings.

    Let’s assume you are 62 years old and over the past eight (8) years you contributed a total of $15,000.00 to your Roth IRA. Your Roth IRA is now worth $25,000.00. When you go to withdraw the money, you will not be taxed on any of the $25,000.00 in the account.

    If you contribute money to a 401 (k) plan, you can still contribute money to a Roth IRA, if you meet certain income requirments.

    If you want to open a Roth IRA account, you can go to a bank, full service stock broker, discount broker, or online broker to get started. Each of the aforementioned will be able to assist in you in the process.

    Traditional Individual Retirement Account (Traditional IRA):

    As opposed to a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA contributions are tax deductible if your income is below a certain amount. Furthermore, all transactions made within a Traditional IRA are not taxed.

    Unlike a Roth IRA, once you retire and begin to withdraw money from your Traditional IRA, all of the money in the account is subject to federal income tax and will be taxed as ordinary income.

    If you are considering opening either a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA and are not sure which to open, you should probably consult a financial professional to see what is the best option is for you.

    As of 2011, you are allowed to contribute up to $5,000.00 into a Traditional IRA if you are 49 or younger. If you are 50 or older, you can contribute up to $6,000.00.

    If you contribute money into a 401 (k), you can still contribute money into a Traditional IRA, assuming you meet certain income requirements.

    If you want to open a Traditional IRA, you can go to a bank, full service stock broker, discount broker or online broker to get started. Each of the aforementioned will be able to assist in you in the process.

    Certificate of deposits (CDs):

    A certificate of deposit is a financial product offered to individuals by banks and credit unions. When an individual purchases a CD from a bank or credit union, he or she agrees to deposit a certain amount of money with that financial institution for a certain amount of time. In return for agreeing to keep the money in the bank or credit union for a certain amount of time, the individual is typically paid a fixed interest rate on the purchase price of the CD.

    Typically, you have the option to either receive a monthly interest check or you can let the interest payments accumulate until the CD matures.

    Let’s assume you go to your local bank and purchase a three (3) year CD for $5,000.00 that pays three (3) percent interest. Since you purchased a three (3) year CD, you agree to keep the CD for three (3) years from the date of purchase. Since th CD pays three (3) percent interest, you should be able to receive a monthly interest check in the amount of $12.50. Alternatively, you can let the interest accrue and be paid all of it, along with the purchase price of the CD, once the CD matures. 

     

    The majority of individuals that purchase CDs typically purchase ones that have a duration of three (3) months to five (5) years.

    CDs typically pay a higher interest rate than money that is kept in a savings account. The reason being is that by purchasing a CD, you commit your money for an agreed-to amount of time. This differs from a savings account where you can withdrawal money at any time you choose.

    If you purchase a CD and withdraw the money earlier than the maturity date, you will be assessed a substantial penalty. Therefore, you should probably not cash out a CD before the maturity date.

    You are not limited to owning only one (1) CD during any given time period. For instance, if you purchased a five (5) year CD last year for $3,000.00, you can still purchase as many more CDs as you desire.

    Banks and credit unions typically have a minimum purchase price for their CDs.

     

    Mutual Fund:

    A mutual fund is a type of company where money is pooled together from many individuals to invest in stocks, bonds, short-term money market instruments, and other securities. In the United States alone, there are thousands of different mutual funds. Mutual funds vary in what types of securities they own. For example one mutual fund may only invest in the stock of small size energy companies while another mutual fund may only invest in junk bonds. 

    Mutual funds enable small individual investors to invest in a diversified portfolio as opposed to investing in individual stocks or bonds, which can be more risky. Each mutual fund employs a manager who is responsible for buying and selling the securities within the mutual fund.

    Once you invest in a mutual fund, you will own shares in the mutual fund, which represent the holdings of the mutual fund.

     

    When investing money with a mutual fund, it may be wise to research the mutual fund you are considering to invest with to ensure that it has a history of producing solid returns. Furthermore, you may want research its average annual return over a ten (10) year period.

    There are many sources such as Money Magazine, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, etc., that publish information regarding mutual fund performance. Also, you can order the prospectus of the mutual fund you are considering to invest with, directly from the mutual fund. The prospectus will give you material information about the mutual fund.

     

    Another factor to consider when investing money in a mutual fund is the commissions and fees that you will incur. You can purchase shares in a mutual fund through brokers, insurance agents, financial planners, banks, and the mutual fund directly. There will usually be commissions that you will have to pay when buying or selling shares in a mutual fund. In addition, the mutual fund will charge management fees for costs associated with managing the mutual fund.

    When investing in a mutual fund, you may want to consider one that has a relatively inexpensive commission and/or fee structure as compared to its peers.

    If you do not feel comfortable selecting a mutual fund to invest in on your own, you may want to seek the assistance of an investment professional to help you in your selection.

     

    Individual stocks:

    If you own one (1) share of stock in a public company, you are a partial owner of that company. Examples of public companies that you have probably heard of that issue stock include Microsoft, General Electric, McDonald’s, Nike, etc. If you own at least one (1) share of a public company, you will be considered a shareholder of that company.

    When you purchase stock, you typically buy it through a stock broker. The stock broker will charge you a commission. There are full service stock brokers and discount stock brokers. Full service brokers typically charge more commission for purchasing and selling stock than discount brokers do. However, full service brokers may provide more investment advice and personal service than a discount broker.

     

    Another way to purchase stock in a public company is by purchasing it directly from the corporation. Many public companies allow you to purchase stock directly from them and will charge you a nominal fee (if any), for doing so. If you want to purchase stock in a public company directly from them, go to the company’s website to get the contact information for the investor relations department. Next, call the investor relations department to see if this option is available and if so, inquire about what steps you need to take to do so.

     

    Many companies that issue stock distribute a portion of their income to the shareholders in the form of dividends. If a company pays a dividend, it will typically pay it on a quarterly basis.

    When purchasing stocks, you want to buy low and sell high. Hence, you want to have the stock rise in value from the time you bought it until the time you sell it.

    As mentioned earlier, owing individual stocks may be more risky than owning shares in a mutual fund. 

     

    Bonds:

    A bond is a debt security that is created when the debt issuer (borrower) issues debt to the bondholder (lender). To put it another way, the debt issuer borrows money from the bondholder. In return for borrowing money, the debt issuer will pay the bondholder interest, usually on a semi-annual basis. The interest rate that the bondholder is paid is called the coupon rate. In addition, the debt issuer will repay the bondholder the original amount of money loaned once the bond matures. 

     

    Typically, when bonds are issued, they are for specific periods of time. Once that specific period of time is up, the bondholder will be repaid the original amount of money lent to the debt issuer.

    Bonds can be issued by entities such as corporations and municipalities in order to finance long-term investments. In addition, bonds can be issued by the government to finance spending.

     

    There is a chance that the debt issuer will go bankrupt. In the event this occurs, the bondholders may not be repaid the money they loaned. Bonds are rated by credit agencies. The higher the bond rating, the higher probability the bondholder has in getting paid back. Bonds that have been issued low ratings typically pay higher interest rates than bonds that have been issued higher ratings. This is because the debt issuer of these bonds has a higher probability of filing for bankruptcy.

    If you consider investing in bonds, you may want to consult an investment professional to assist you in your selection.

     

    In order to make your short-term and long-term financial goals a reality, you need to have an income.

    Obesity & Cognitive Behavioral Training (CBT)

    Obesity & Cognitive Behavioral Training (CBT)

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    Obesity, a term being utilized more frequently in today’s world, is turning into a global epidemic. Over two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and children are rapidly joining the ranks. Granted, there are studies that show genetics as possible precursor to obesity as well. Generally however, if obesity is not caused by a medical condition, it is a result of nutrition, lifestyle, medications, and/or behavior. Studies have repeatedly shown that any effective treatment for obesity must contain a cognitive behavioral approach in order for success to be long term and permanent.

     Obesity is an anatomical and biological result of energy being consumed at a higher rate than it is being expended. It has come to be classified as a chronic medical disease; obesity can and will, if not treated, lead to other health complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, congestive heart failure, gallstones, gout, etc. Our daily diet contributes to our well-being and not-so-well-being… the foods we consume provide us with the necessary nutrients required for survival. If we consume unhealthy foods or fill our daily diets with high-sugar and high fat content foods, we will begin to accumulate excess amounts of body fat that can only be counteracted with physical activity. If we also continue to allow social media to influence our personal images of self, we will only place ourselves into a downward spiral of negative thoughts that lead to more unhappiness and more unhealthy habits. Treatment for obesity will only be successful if a long-term plan is created. Set reasonable goals that you will be able to achieve and feel positive about. Your main goal should always be your health. Your ideal weight can always be achieved but your health should be the initial goal.

     Weight loss alone is not difficult to achieve; weight loss maintenance however, is one of the most difficult objectives of the entire endeavor. In order to lose excess weight, a deficit must be created; energy expended must be greater than energy consumed, plain and simple. In order to maintain however, lifestyle and behavior changes are pertinent for success. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps the challenge by increasing motivation and providing the coping skills necessary to handle any lapses in a diet any and every person will experience along the journey.

     Obesity can be overcome through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a personalized daily food schedule. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy sessions provide the education for long-term weight maintenance skills: Encouraging confidence by changing a person’s body image and their personal expectation of what their body image should be, based on social expectations; improving a person’s self-esteem and increasing personal self-worth; teaching stress management techniques to avoid breakdowns and bouts of “comfort-eating”; assisting in the setting of reasonable and attainable goals for weight loss and maintenance; encouraging an active role in the individual’s own health and life goals.

     Do you feel as if you need to lose weight and don’t know how? Are you concerned about the effects of a weight-loss diet or increased physical activity? Are you worried about the direction your health is heading? Why not proactively do something about it? Change your behavior to change your life!!

     Remember that the key to long-term success is behavior modification in baby steps and you will reach your health goals before you know it.

    Budget Development

    Budget Development

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    What is a budget? This is a word we all know and use, but how accurately is it being utilized?

    A budget is a list of all planned income and expenses whether monthly, weekly, etc. Documenting your budget, whether on paper or digitally, truly helps you manage your money and how you spend it. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you are able to manage money in much simpler terms. By simplifying just this aspect of life, you will realize how much stress you have decided to let go of.

     The main purpose to creating a budget is to enable you to set and achieve financial goals. The purpose of documenting goals is fairly simple: progress is viewed easier when documented. Positive progress always promotes positive thoughts and emotions towards the self.

    Financial goals can be both long-term and short-term. It is best to set both and enjoy attaining them. Remember to set attainable goals! There is nothing more disconcerting than not seeing progress. Why make yourself feel bad? Set realistic and appropriate goals for now and set more difficult goals for long-term achievements. Remember that baby steps are more productive than no steps. Short-term financial goals should be goals you would like to achieve within the next 12 months while long-term goals can take longer than a year. Long-term financial goals require enough discipline to see them through; otherwise they can never become a reality. 

    Setbacks happen to everybody, do not let them discourage you!! Your main goal at this point is to get back on track as soon as you can.

     Creating a successful budget means you fully understand what your monthly income is. There are two forms of income when it comes to the details: gross and net. Your gross monthly income is the total sum you receive before having to pay for federal income taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes, state income taxes, county taxes, and anything else that is deducted. Your net monthly income is the true monetary amount to actually make it to you. Your net monthly income is the crucial number for an accurate and successful budget. 

    The next category you must take into account is monthly expenses. There are fixed expenses, variable expenses, and periodic expenses. Fixed monthly expenses are expenses incurred every month for the same dollar amount every month; examples would include a mortgage, rent, car payment, etc. Variable monthly expenses are expenses incurred every month for a variable dollar amount every month; examples include a utility bill, groceries, fuel, etc. Periodic monthly expenses are those sudden cases that you sometimes wish you anticipated better; examples include car repairs, gifts, medical expenses, unexpected maintenance issues, etc. 

    Common sense dictates that monthly expenses should be lower than your net monthly income. If this is not the case, you must find a way to reduce your expenses or increase your net monthly income.

    Documents that you should keep track of and keep organized include: bank records, credit card statements, bills, pay stubs, federal and state income tax returns, investment information, retirement account records, insurance policies, medical records, tax deduction paperwork, and other income.

     Differentiate between wants and needs when creating a budget and stick to it… you will be much happier in the long run. Each individual is different… make sure you are doing what is best for your future and have the discipline to see things through. A winning attitude breeds positivity and better decisions.

     Check back for my next post on Investment Options in Today’s Financial Market.